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Libranet 2.8.1
Reviews Views Date of last review
6 36831 01-28-2008
Recommended By Average Price Average Rating
100% of reviewers $75.00 10.0

Description: Libranet 2.8.1 Flagship version is free to try.
You can download it from
Keywords: Libranet 2.8.1 Flagship version free trial

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Old 08-30-2004, 05:31 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2002
Distribution: Debian, antiX, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and many others
Posts: 610

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Easiest system to upgrade, great selection of software
Cons: Installation program needs simpler defaults

I went back and forth about whether to give Libranet 2.8.1 a 9 or a 10 and decided on giving it a ten. Perhaps a 9.8 or a 9.9 would be a more objective score. Libranet is not quite perfect, but it comes as close as any system I have ever used for overall use. There are several systems out there these days that can be installed with as few as four mouse clicks. Libranet is not quite there; if that is what you are looking for, then either give Libranet a fair chance for its other great attributes, or look at Xandros, MEPIS, Mandrake, or Lycoris for really easy to install software.

If you are looking for a system that is reasonably easy to install and full of terrific software, and really easy to upgrade and add new software, then this one gets a 10+. It would be hard to get any easier to upgrade a system. First, you still have all of the usual Debian tools that already make it an easy system to maintain. But if that is not enough, check out Xadminmenu, Libranet's administrative tool. Click on Packages, then click on upgrade, and watch the system upgrade your entire selection of software! The Packages tab also includes buttons to update the menu itself, upgrade the system, install and remove software using the Libranet CDs, install and remove software using the Internet (useful for installing one or two packages), Security to check on any security system updates and install them, Synaptic, a graphical front end to the Debian packaging system, and aptitude, an ncurses based menu front end to the Debian packaging system. (You can always manage stuff by hand, this system stays out of your way, if that's the way you like it).

In fact, that is one of the great characteristics of Libranet - have it your way. I say it is much better than Burger King ever was when they had that slogan - Libranet is a complete, usable system, extremely flexible, easy to manage, able to handle any task that the best Linux systems can handle.

The installation program could use a bit of modernization and the configuration program could use an update of the latest hardware. The next release under development now ought to take care of those remaining things.

Summary: not quite perfect, but pretty close!
Old 09-15-2004, 10:43 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2004
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: Installation was the best of many
Cons: Not enough people know about it

I had just about given up that I could find a distro that would install easily on this old Dell Inspiron 3000 laptop. I have downloaded 21 CDs of ISOs looking for the version of Linux which would install without a hitch on this 233 Mhz MMX Pentium, with 128 MB shared RAM, and a 4 GB HD with a PCMCIA network card and a legacy CS4232 sound card.

Here are names of the fallen: SuSE 9.1 (no sound or network card, and S-L-O-W), Cool 2.3, Damn Small 0.7.3, CD 0.4.8, SLAX 4.1.3(CD mounting issues), Gentoo 2004.1 (Min install), Knoppix 3.4 & 3.6, Mandrake 10, Red Hat 9 (got the network card but no sound and no ongoing support), and Fedora Core2.

Libranet was only two CDs, and got 95% of the install right off the bat and only needed some extra probing for the CS4232 from the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture to give me the first sound that ANY Linux distro has been able to give me. No adding files. No text modification of existing files. No kludges. No recompilation of the kernal. No hunting the web for a Linux driver. ALSA did it all.

The provided Xadminmenu is terrific! With 11 tabs which provide you direct iconic access to kernal upgrades and all kinds of configuration, downloading new and updated program packages, desktop management, user admin, and the list goes on and on. What a great Admin Center! Never saw anything like that on the others that installed. And after a nearly fully automated update of all the components (using Xadminmenu again), it all fit in 2.7 GB! Fedora C2 would have used the full disk.

As a total Linux newbie, my goal was to find a distro which installed easily on this old Dell laptop with a minimum of fuss: no command line, no searching for those one or two files that I needed to tweak to get things working. And this distro's got it all; and got it right. I'm certainly not done exploring this version: plenty of things more to do like printer and LAN configuration/sharing on a Windows network. When I find out more, I'll post again.
Old 10-11-2004, 11:31 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: Fedora Core 1+2+3; Mandrake 10; Libranet 2.8.1
Posts: 10

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: D/L | Rating: 10

Pros: 2-700meg CD iso's; EASY install and mainenance; relatively small install
Cons: I'm not knowledgable enough about linux to know the cons yet!

I am a newbie to linux but have been into the computer scene for way too long not to have been playing around with linux more. With that said, here is my little review.

I was looking for simple install of LINUX to put onto some old computers to see how they ran instead of just trashing the machines... some compaq DeskPro 4000's with p166s. Installation was EASY as pie, I just let it run and about 2 hours later it was installed with NO problems; everything worked great, sound, video, keyboard, mouse, ethernet, etc. Installed everything with not a problem. It doesn't run too fast but what do you expect from a 166... hehehe...

I also installed it in an old laptop as well... a compaq that runs at p166 as well... it found everything in it also.. even the 3com ethernet pcmcia card.

I also put it into a BP6 dual celeron 500's as well to check out the smp. No problem with this installation either. If it can run on these diverse sytems without a hitch then it must be pretty good.

I hope more people try this Distro... it's very easy and compact plus comes with tons of stuff for playing around. The Xadminmenu is awesome... especially for the newbie like me!!!

TRY IT, this might just be your next favorite DISTRO of LINUX.

Old 04-13-2005, 06:41 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 1969
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $75.00 | Rating: 10

Pros: easy install and upgrade
Cons: I have to reconfigure cups after each upgrade

I started using linux with RH 7.3? What a pain that was. I left it alone for some time then tried RH8. This was a little easier BUTT...

Then I saw the LIGHT. Libranet was easy to install on my K6II 333 ausus p5 machine. It recognized everything no problem. Then I installed it on my bros dell right next to windows. A much newer machine. I then put it on my mom and dads K7 1.6gig Asus ??? Again, no problem. My wife has been using Libranet and hardly ever goes back to winbloze.

Upgrading is a wiz! I just upgraded to kernel 2.6.11 with very few problems which were of my own making. The user forum is the best forum I have encountered. Everyone is helpful and no egos! Can't wait for Libranet 3.0!
Old 03-25-2006, 10:16 PM   #5
Registered: Apr 2002
Distribution: Debian, antiX, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and many others
Posts: 610

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0

Pros: For me, the best of all time
Cons: Could be somewhat simpler for the total newbie

I already reviewed Libranet 2.8.1, and it is now a pretty old distribution, but suppose you just want to get a set of CDs that will jump start an aging system with solid software that you can then update over the Internet. If that is the case, then this is the number one system to use.

Libranet 3.0 is a bit fancier to use because it has a bit better menu integration, but unfortunately, along with those fancy menus come some usability bugs that were not in the earlier release. Since 3.0 has dropped off the shelves, not really readily available and 2.8.1 was such a good release, I think if you have old hardware, even today this is a good release to get - as long as you have a high speed broadband connection to upgrade your software. Otherwise, it might be getting a bit too old now. Nevertheless, I like it better than Ubuntu, for instance.

If you want something newer, try Xandros Open Circulation Edition (OCE) 3.02.
Old 01-28-2008, 06:47 AM   #6
Registered: Jan 2008
Posts: 0

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Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10


What you're paying for in Libranet (since it's based on Debian that is free) is easy installation, adminmenu, and support. I'm glad that reviewer mentions this support - Libranet people provide answers to users' questions. Strange, however, that they should say that there's no GUI frontend for setting mouse acceleration in IceWM. I abandoned IceWM when XFce4 was released, but I recall that there are several graphical frontends to configure most aspects of IceWM. You can also do (as root) 'apt-get install gxset' and this installs gtk frontend for xset.



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